Leave The Beirut Marathon Alone

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I’ve been hearing a lot of attacks on the Beirut Marathon in the last couple of days, and how it’s portraying a fake image of Beirut and it’s a waste of money. A lot of people were complaining about the fees as well (40,000 LL for the fun run) saying that it’s a rip off and should be free. To be honest, 40,000 LL is indeed expensive but most of the tickets that are sold are usually sponsored by banks, NGOs and companies and most of the runners end up paying nothing or as little as 10,000 LL to participate so this is really not a big deal.

As for the Marathon itself, I really don’t understand why anyone would attack such a beautiful and successful event, especially after the BMA got promoted to be a SIlVER Road Race by the International Association of Athletics Federation which is a major achievement noting that there are only 26 other exclusive silver races in the world.

This is what I wrote last year about the same topic:

I love the Beirut Marathon and everything it stands for. I look forward to it every year and I try to promote it in the best way possible as I truly believe it’s a great sporting event that all Lebanese should take part in. It takes a lot of time, effort and dedication to organize successful marathons one year after the other and to attract more people, and the Beirut Marathon Association has managed to do all that and more. Moreover, BMA’s president May El-Khalil is an inspiration to many in Lebanon and around the world and she is one of the key reasons behind Beirut Marathon’s success and I highly respect and admire this lady.

The participants are running for unity, fun, glory, achievement, promoting wellness and healthy living, for causes and charitable organizations and more importantly for the benefit of Lebanon and all the Lebanese. Every year, we have new causes to run for, inspiring runners to look up to and new challenges to overcome.

The Beirut Marathon is something we should be proud of and take part in or at least encourage if we don’t like to run or walk.


The BMA has nothing to do with the garbage crisis but it’s a good occasion to spread awareness on this issue as well as others. If you don’t like running or think it’s a silly event, there’s no need to bash it and call it useless especially that it’s one of the very few things that still brings people together in Lebanon. We run for fun, for causes, for NGOs, for peace and most importantly we run together.

Last but not least, if you think that the Beirut Marathon is showing a fake image of Beirut, then you obviously haven’t been to Beirut recently.

My First Time At The #DubaiMotorShow

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I just landed in Dubai and I’m here to attend the 2015 Dubai International Motor Show. I’m here with the Ford & Lincoln team and I’m looking forward to another exciting experience. This is my second trip with Ford and I love how professional and well organized these people are. Last year, the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang was a phenomenal event and I enjoyed every bit of it, especially going up to the 112th floor on Burj Khalifa to see the new Mustang.

I’m here till Wednesday and I’ll be posting daily updates about the Motor Show and my trip. You can follow me on Instagram [@LeNajib], Twitter [@LeNajib] and Facebook of course [BlogBaladi]. I’m also on Snapchat [LeNajib] but I still don’t see the point from using Snapchat so don’t expect many updates there.

How Many Violations Can You Spot In This Video?

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A security officer got into an accident with a truck apparently, so he decided to go down, stand in the middle of the road with a stick and threaten the driver. Few seconds later, a motorist is seen coming the wrong way and then parks his scooter in the middle of the road to talk to the officer. The truck pulls over but the driver refuses to go on, so the officer tries to beat him with the stick twice. Meanwhile, people are still standing in the middle of the road before the officer decides to leave in a car that doesn’t have a plate number.

This is a kind reminder of the jungle we live in but the good news is that the officer got arrested as stated by Interior Minister Mashnouq.



Check out the video below:


Review: “Spectre” Is Fun But Slightly Disappointing

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I enjoyed “Skyfall” and was looking forward to the latest installment “Spectre”. The trailer was very promising but the movie failed to impress. I don’t know if I had unreasonably high expectations for this installment following the success of Skyfall but I honestly got a bit bored in the last hour and lost interest in the plot.

Spectre did start promisingly with Bond in Mexico City climbing over rooftops, assassinating terrorists, running from explosions, finding himself in a spinning helicopter and causing an international incident. However, the actions scenes that followed weren’t that impressive and could have been executed better especially the car chases. Even the main seduction scenes were disappointing with Monica Belluci showing very briefly and Léa Seydoux not worthy of a Bond girl in my opinion.

As far as the plot is concerned, it’s way too complicated and can easily confuse those who are not familiar with Craig’s previous three installments and old Bond movies as well. In fact, the filmmakers were juggling modernity and nostalgia, just like they did with Skyfall, but it didn’t work out this time. Also, Craig’s character didn’t really help and his lack of humor and emotions remains problematic.

All in all, I think the problem is that Spectre had a lot of everything, from villains, locales, explosions, dialogues. It has all the ingredients but it’s not as fun and entertaining as it should be. It feels like Daniel Craig has had enough of Bond and the last scene where he walks away with his new found love (Bond in love?) is a clear sign of things to come.

Spectre remains a fun and entertaining mid-level Bond movie but I think it’s time we get a new actor to make James Bond relevant again. Quoting Vulture, “the result is fun, even if it’s a mishmash, leaving you shaken, not stirred.”

PS: I hated the song by the way.


Review: 3.5/5

A New Movement Is Joining The Beirut Protests: #Badna_BALMAIN_Ya_Man

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A group of Lebanese male fashionistas, also known as instainfluenzee7omneldarebanistas, were outraged after BALMAIN X H&M launched its collection today for ladies only and they decided to start a new movement in protest. An urgent meeting will take place tonight at Martyrs Square to decide on the official hashtag but you can use those for now:


We could not reach any of the ladies who stormed the shop as they are still fighting over few items.

PS: In case you missed what happened earlier today at ABC, enjoy :)


15+ Restaurants & Bars Are Opening Soon In The Village Dbayyeh

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the village

We’ve been hearing for quite some time about a community of pubs and restaurants opening in Dbayyeh and it looks like it’s finally happening. The Village Dbayyeh is opening next week and will include more than 15 pubs and restos which are: Crepaway, Divvy, Nasma, Bodo, BistroBar, Toto, Lina’s, 190, Barcelona, EscoBar, Faze II, Rural, The Bar, The Mayor, The Oak Cocktail Bar and Trumpet.

The venue looks really nice with stone houses, fountains, outdoor public spaces and greenery and I like the variety of places opening there. The Village is ideal for families as there’s plenty of space for kids to play around and for individuals who just want to go out and have a drink in the bar/pub zone.

There’s one thing that I’m not comfortable with though, the amount of traffic that this venue will cause and the lack of parking spaces. The people behind The Village are saying there are two parking lots nearby and there’s of course a Valet Parking service but we all know that things always go wrong when there’s Valet Parking.

The official opening is on November 12 so I will hopefully have more info by next week. If you wish to read more about the Village, click [here].

village1 Via BeirutCocktailFactory

village2 Via BeirutCocktailFactory